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Rewriting the Canon in Women’s Literature in English

FAAAM is part of the CREA (EA 370)

Annual Theme: "Singular/Plural(s)"

Organized by: Claire Bazin (British Literature) and Marie-Claude Perrin-Chenour (American Literature)

Université Paris X-Nanterre : RER A – station : Nanterre-Université


In her now famous article, "When We Dead Awaken: Writing as Re-Vision", Adrienne Rich wrote in 1971: "Re-vision – the act of looking back, of seeing with fresh eyes, of entering an old text from a new critical direction – is for women more than a chapter in cultural history: it is an act of survival". In this same pamphlet, she envisaged the rewriting of the Literature Canon as a necessary rupture from the past ("we need to know the writing of the past, and know it differently than we have ever known it; not to pass on a tradition but to break its hold over us.") Rich was referencing a long tradition of masculin texts she had herself worked to "re-view" in her poems by using the famous works of Yeats, Wordsworth or William Blake for example, as critical metatextual commentaries. For her, "re-viewing" did not simply consist in a "transposition" or a "textual permutation" (to use the formulations of Julia Kristeva’s attempt to define intertextuality in La Révolution du langage poétique or in Séméiotikè). It was not either a purely recreational, postmodern endeavour. With the same ambition for stylistic creativity, Rich saw rewriting first and foremost as a political act. Since the 1970s, other women writers have undertaken this re-reading, re-interpretation and re-writing of canonic texts, whether in Great-Britain (Angela Carter) or in the United States, where minority authors play with the double literary tradition (male and western) to counter it with their own double discourse (female and ethnic), for aesthetic and political purposes. Rewriting of the "master’s discourse" echoes the African American art of "Signifying".

Presenters will attempt, through detailed text analyses, to apprehend the various forms of rewriting, the specific relation between the hypertext and the hypotext, and the levels at which they operate. One question of interest is whether, like for Rich, rewriting necessarily implies a break from the old order or if, in certain cases, there is a form of continuity.



(Salle des colloques – Buiding K 1st floor)

- 9:15 - Greetings and Introduction by Emily Eells, director of the CREA

9:30 -10:30 Keynote Conference Jack Zipes
Professor at the University of Minnesota [1]
“And Nobody Lives Happily Ever After: The Feminist Fairy Tale after Fighting Forty Years for Survival”

- 10:30 -11 Break

11-12:30 - PANELS:

BRITISH LIT (salle des colloques)- Chair: Claire Bazin

- 11-11:30 Anne Chassagnol (Université Paris X-Nanterre) : « Pages d’écriture, art de la réécriture : le conte lu, vu, relu et revu par R. Doyle (1824-1883) »
- 11:30-12 Laurence Talairach (Université Toulouse-le-Mirail) : “Weaving the Threads of the Tapestry: Storyspinning in Mrs Molesworth’s The Tapestry Room (1877)”
- 12-12:30 Eva Loechner (Université Paris III) : « La réécriture de la romance chez George Eliot : l’exemple de Silas Marner »

AMERICAN LIT (room K 202)- Chair: Marie-Claude Perrin-Chenour

- 11-11:30 Anne-Laure François (Université Lille III) : « ‘Lively, simple books are very much needed for girls, and perhaps I can supply the need’ : (ré)écriture du canon littéraire enfantin dans l’oeuvre de Louisa May Alcott »
- 11:30-12 Caroline Guény (Université Paris VIII) : « Ethan Frome et ‘la grande Bretèche’ : Wharton réécrivant Balzac »
- 12-12:30 Brigitte Zaugg (Université de Metz) : “Revamping the Heroine of Plantation Fiction : Ellen Glasgow’s and Margaret Mitchell’s strategies in Barren Ground and Gone with the Wind

- 12:30-2pm Lunch/Buffet
(Building K)

- 2-5pm - PANELS :

BRITISH LIT (salle des colloques)- Chair: Claire Bazin

- 2-2:30 Caroline Marie (Université Paris VIII) : « Orlando : or The Enigma of the Sexes d’Angela Carter : pourquoi réécrire Orlando : A Biography de Virginia Woolf »
- 2:30-3 Julie Sauvage (Université de Reims) : “Re-membering Fairy Tales in Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber
- 3-3:30 Lydia Martin (Université d’Aix-en-Provence) : « The Piano de Jane Campion : le motif de Barbe Bleue ou la re-naissance d’une voix féminine »

AMERICAN Lit (room K 202)- Chair: Marie-Claude Perrin-Chenour

- 2-2:30 Nicole Ollier (Université Bordeaux III) : « Eudora Welty : Circé, divine amoureuse, ou la magie à l’épreuve du masculin »
- 2:30-3 Elisabeth Lamothe (Université Versailles-Saint-Quentin) : « ‘Faithful Princesses and Mischievous Fairies’ : les contes pour enfants, premiers écrits de Katherine Anne Porter »
- 3-3:30 Gérald Préher (Université Versailles Saint-Quentin) : « ‘I think it’s fair to say that everything a writer hears or reads is potentially an influence’ : de l’hypotexte à l’intertexte dans la fiction de Shirley Ann Grau. »

- 3:30-4 Break

BRITISH LIT (salle des colloques) : chef d’atelier : Claire Bazin
- 4-4:30 Armelle Parey (Université de Caen) : “Kate Atkinson : Rewriting Fairy Tales in Human Croquet (1997) ”
- 4:30-5 Monica Girard (Université Nancy II) : “‘And they Lived Happily Ever After’: Wintersonian Variations on Marital Bliss in Sexing the Cherry

AMERICAN LIT (salle K 202) : chef d’atelier : Marie-Claude Perrin-Chenour
- 4-4:30 Marie Mas (Université Grenoble III) : « Re-création des genres dans la poésie d’Elizabeth Bishop »
- 4:30-5 Laure de Nervaux (Université Paris XII) : « ‘That Story’ : Les métamorphoses du récit dans Transformations d’Anne Sexton »


(Salle des colloques – Buiding K 1st floor)


- 9:30-10h Helen Mundler (Université Paris XII) : “Time to Murder and Create? The Bible as Intertext in A.S. Byatt’s Elementals: Stories of Fire and Ice
- 10-10:30 Grazia Ghellini (Université de Nîmes) : “ ‘Vivam !’ Heraclitean Change and Vitalism in Marina Warner’s The Leto Bundle

- 10:30-11 Break

- 11-11:30 Isabelle Roblin (Université du littoral – Côte d’Opale) : “Emma Tennant’s Heathcliff’s Tale : or, is it ?” (2005)
- 11:30-12 Marie-Lise Paoli (Université Bordeaux III) : « Négociations avec l’autorité : l’Odyssée selon Margaret Atwood »

- 12-1:30 Lunch/Buffet


- 13:30-2 Isabelle Van Peteghem (CPGE Angers/Paris III) : « Révolte et libération textuelles dans The Color Purple d’Alice Walker »
- 2-2:30 Christopher Robinson (HEC/Université Paris X-Nanterre) : “The Witch, the Step-Mother and the Dragon-Child: Ursula K. Le Guin’s Re-visioning of Fantasy”

- 2:30-3 Break

- 3-3:30 Lorine Grimaud (CPGE Angers/Université Paris X-Nanterre – littérature et Poétique comparées) : « De la ‘chair fraîche’ à la chair-texte. Joyce Carol Oates, Beasts : Gillian ou une réécriture contemporaine de la figure du poucet »
- 4-4:30 Aristie Trendel (Université Montpellier I) : “Rikki Ducornet revisits Hawthorne: The Stain or a Time for ‘Sexts’”

[1Jack Zipes, author of many books on the rewriting of fairty tales, including Breaking the Magic Spell: Radical Theories of Folk and Fairy Tales (1979) ; Fairy Tales and the Art of Subversion (1983) ; The Trials and Tribulations of Little Red Riding Hood (1983) ; Don’t Bet on the Prince: Contemporary Feminist Fairy Tales in North America and England (1986) ; Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales, Children and the Culture Industry (1997) ; The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales (2003) ; Hans Christian Andersen : The Misunderstood Storyteller (2005) ; The Norton Anthology of Children’s Literature (2005) ; Why Fairy Tales Stick: The Evolution and Relevance of a Genre (2006)


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